On Sunday, a peaceful Maine afternoon turned into a scene like something from an action movie, when gunfire erupted in a Walmart parking lot.
According to Augusta police, the occupants of two vehicles parked alongside one another were arguing over money when they suddenly began exchanging a barrage of bullets.
However, it wasn’t long before — as WGME reports — a pair of bystanders stepped in, ending the chaotic situation before it could turn into something far more tragic.
Police say it was around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday when the vehicles’ occupants first began firing at one another.
In a press release, police explained what happened next:
“When the shooting stopped one suspect exited their vehicle to confront the occupants of the other vehicle.
At this time the incident was stopped by two bystanders who had watched the incident unfold. No one was injured during the incident and medical assistance was denied.”
Since then, police have confirmed that both of these bystanders were legally armed with handguns, and were able to step in and defuse the situation before anyone was harmed. Augusta Police Lt. Chris Massey explaining simply:
“They had taken out their guns and told them to stop.”
Though one of the vehicles then attempted to flee, police arrived in time and were able to place all four occupants under arrest.
Of the four suspects, three of them — Kwiesha “Reggie” McBride, Frankie Dejesus, and Diana Davis — were from New York, while only Samantha Tupper was from Maine.
In addition to the group facing charges of reckless conduct with a firearm and aggravated assault, McBride was also discovered with 42 grams of heroin on him, prompting an additional charge of aggravated trafficking in drugs. They are due in court on Monday.
Though Augusta Police did not release the names of the two bystanders who helped put an end to the shootout, local media claims to have identified one of the men as Daniel Chavanne.
— NEWS CENTER Maine (@newscentermaine) June 27, 2016
Though, in this situation, the two legally armed bystanders may have very well prevented someone from getting shot — or even, worst case, getting killed — Augusta Police have made it clear that they don’t recommend that bystanders step in during such potentially deadly situations.
Instead, they encourage individuals to focus on being “good witnesses” in order to be able to later provide reliable information to authorities.